By Arpita Singh
Women had been struggling since ages to find an effective stature in the family, society, parliament and in every single place that we can think of. Equal opportunity and mutual existence are fancy words with no reality as yet. The question being why men won’t let it happen? What is the threat? Are women so dumb that they couldn’t do decision making or were they born to solely nurture children and prepare food.?
The Nagaland protests:
Recently there had been protests in Nagaland against 33 per cent women reservation in urban local bodies allegedly citing Naga culture and customs that prohibit women from decision making, land ownership, and any socio-economic status. The protestors used their historical background as an armor to defend their stand.
The same uncanny patriarchal history which let down women in every walk of life. The young women are self-capable and sustainable which is a threat to the superiority of the Naga men.
The Fear of Equality:
Are the men protecting their customs or it is the fear which is speaking so loud, the fear of women emerging as strong, self-dependent and self-worth entities? However, some women candidates do contest the election and win in the name of their husbands. Most of them don’t even realize the powers and responsibilities bestowed upon them. A perfect example would be Ex-Chief minister of Bihar Rabdi Devi.
The Lok Sabha has never voted on Women Reservation Bill (constitution’s 108th amendment) which was proposed to amend the constitution of India to reserve 33% of all seats in the Lok Sabha, and in all state legislative assemblies for women. The bill lapsed in 1996, 1998 and was passed in Rajya Sabha in the year 2010 but lapsed after the dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha.
The threat to male dominance:
JDU leader Sharad Yadav used “par-kit mahilaen” for the short haired urban women asking how would they represent “our women”( the rural women). Samajwadi party’s members even tried to snatch the Bill copy. “Take back Women Reservation Bill” was among the slogans raised by SP members.
Why were they raising the slogans?
What do they have to fear?
Some opposition members even tried to attack Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari and disrupted tabling of the bill. Such aggressive retaliation from male and prominent political leaders questions the male mindset and brings their uncomfortableness into the limelight.
The Plight of Women:
The number of women MPs in 1991 was 39 that is 7.30% while in 2014 it was 66 that is 12.15%. These numbers speak a lot as only 4.85% of women representation increased in more than a decade. With such a minimal representation in parliament, women fall behind on priorities and assumptions of policies and legislation.
India remains a proud producer of female Prime Minister and President but yet, the patches of inequality have not faded away.
Indira Gandhi well known for her mass approach and slogans like ‘Gareebi Hatao’, Pratibha Patil has been the only female president of India, Sushma Swaraj is the current external affairs minister well known for her problem solving and expert managing skills even on Twitter, Mayawati the female face of UP who has led the state and is still considered the ‘messaih’ of Dalits’; these are few high-spirited ladies who were and are blessed with all capabilities to thrash their opponents.
These faces are influential and qualify role models. And, some more of these faces would be appreciable. Women reservation would assure the proper representation of women along with self-reliability, and wouldn’t need to seek men to bring up the needed policies for their benefits.